Welcome to the Airports Council International (ACI) 11h Annual Airport Economics & Finance Symposium and Conference! This year, we also hold the fifth ACI-World Bank Aviation Symposium, which underscores the long and positive cooperation between our two organizations.
The global air transport industry continues to experience unprecedented growth rates. In 2017, global air traffic passenger demand increased by 8.1 percent on the year before. In 2018, traffic is projected to grow another seven percent. While traditionally air transportation grew on average equal to Gross Domestic Product (GDP), in the past decade aviation grew at twice this figure. Airlines around the world enjoy this growth rate, which are due to the fact that air travel has increasingly become the mode of transportation for the general population worldwide. However, while airports also welcome more passengers, they often struggle to create or expand the necessary infrastructure to cope with the increased demand. This entails massive increases in capital spending. IATA predicts about US$1.2-1.5 trillion to be necessary on global airport infrastructure development up to 2030. While airports generally represent a stable investment opportunity, such long-term commitment bears certain risks, such as geopolitics, the global economy, security, or natural resources, that could affect growth of the airline industry.
Given the above, airports often need to develop innovative and complex financing schemes to address both, the opportunities and risks for lenders and investors. Many governments, which are owners of airports, struggle with competing demands for finance, but welcome growth in air travel as a driver for economic development. Private capital in the form of Public Private Partnerships (PPP) presents an attractive solution to address this challenge, as it decreases the public exposure and introduces efficient private sector principles and efficiencies.
The fifth ACI-World Bank Aviation Symposium will build on past events, where we continue to discuss the risk and opportunities of airport PPP by highlighting the role of regulators, discussing challenges, exchanging best practices, and exploring concrete new PPP opportunities. The Symposium will again be conducted as a learning experience, which will allow participants to interact with experts of various fields in the field of PPP in airport infrastructure development. We are looking forward to welcoming you to the discussions throughout the three days of the 2019 ACI Airport Economics & Finance Symposium & Conference.
Dr. Charles E. Schlumberger
Lead Air Transport Specialist,
The World Bank